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Best Players I Ever Had The Opportunity To Play

Best Players I Ever Had The Opportunity To Play

Sep 23, 2017, 3:54 PM 0

Tigran Petrosian

World Champion 1963-1969

Tigran Petrosian

 I had this Simul date on my calendar for months. I was hoping I'd be able to apply what I had been learning in my new research on the Benko Gambit. Sure enough, playing the black pieces, the opening went pretty much like I hoped, but as we went into the middle game, Petrosian just continued to build a slight advantage move by move.

Benko Gambit Half-Accepted: Modern Variation

I would not have resigned on the 35th move of this game against an equal opponent. Even though I was slightly down in material, my fighting instinct would have driven me to continue for a while at least.  But I thought it would be plain rude to make a World Champion prove he could checkmate me when he had a 2 pawn advantage. It was a lot of fun, and not too embarrassing.


Walter Browne
US Champion '74 '75 '77 '80 '81 '83

Walter Browne

Walter Browne was usually described as intense but charismatic. To me he just seemed intense. And Intimidating. I had played in many tournaments by that time in 1975, but had never been as nervous in real competition as I was waiting for the US champion to start his rounds in this simul. The serious, unsmiling champ was playing white on all boards as he rushed around the room, rarely spending more than 1 second on any board for the first 6 or so moves.

Sicilian Defense: Open, Scheveningen, Keres Attack

He was moving fast and I wasn't able to give this game as much thought as I'd have liked to.  Still, due to a slight inaccuracy on Browne's part at move 10, the game was reasonably equal.  Unfortunately, within three moves, thanks to a minor oversight (massive blunder) in which I left a knight underprotected, the game was essentially over.  Determined to get my money's worth, I made the champion play on until move 21, at which time I resigned.

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